Conveyor belts are made from five primary materials. These include thermoplastics, metal, rubber, fabric and leather. The plastics include parts made from, silicone polyester, polyethene and polyvinyl chloride. The metal parts are mostly stainless steel and carbon steel. The fabric parts are made from materials like canvas and cotton.
The more modern manufacturing method of CNC Machined Plastic parts has supported the evolution of the conveyor from a 19th-century primitive conveyor to those inspired by Intralox’s 1970 patent for an all-plastic, modular belted conveyor like the ones in operation around the globe today.
What Plastic Parts Can be CNC Machined?
Modular Plastic Belts
The benefits of CNC machined modular plastic belts are that they provide the purchaser with a longer belt life with less belt ware, there is less cleaning and maintenance required. Plastic belts also reduce the risk of product loss or contamination, enhance worker safety and you don’t need to lubricate or tension the belt after use.
Conveyor Sprockets and Idlers
Moulded and machined sprockets used for both plastic chain and interchangeable plastic belt products come in a range of teeth and bore sizes.
The sprocket and plastic pulley wheels are considerably lighter than their metal counterparts. The reduced weight of glass-reinforced nylon gives every device an overall weight saving. This weight saving is essential for the bottom line of a business, which provides savings because of lower shipping and installation costs.
In general, plastics have lower common gravity than brass, aluminium, zinc, steel, or copper. The lighter plastic pulleys, where possible,
are easier to mount and remove. Additionally, plastic pulleys and sprockets produce less friction, which results in lower energy requirements for proper operation.
Conveyor Chain Guide Products
Belt conveyors can only be placed where they can be easily stretched between two rollers. A new conveyor is needed every time the product has to change direction. In a single conveyor solution, long runs of conveyors consisting of straight sections, horizontal turns, vertical inclines/declines and helical curves are all possible – for example, vertical or horizontal offsets.
Belt conveyor repair is a time-consuming operation. It can be costly and leaves the belt with an apparent point of repair which could possibly cause issues as goods can become caught on it. There are a few belt conveyors that can not be repaired and must, therefore, be replaced completely; this is often at massive expense to the company.
Choosing to use modular chain conveyers is a good idea because they are:
- Easy to repair
- Require no special assembly
- Often require no special disassembly other than the chain itself
- There is no tensioner to have to deal with
- They are faster to replace
- More inexpensive to replace
The next time you are choosing a solution for your conveyor system, it may be beneficial for you to give modular plastic chain conveyor belt a go!